KERRY'S all-conquering football heroes will be welcomed home in Killarney on the Monday night after the All-Ireland, in spite of a bid to have the reception in Tralee on that night.
The County Board of the GAA decided this on Tuesday night after the long-running rivalry between Tralee and Killarney on the matter was raised by Tralee's Liam Sayers.
He put forward the proposition that the Monday night receptions for All-Ireland teams should rotate between the two towns. The discussion raged for a considerable length of time and eventually it was the intervention of Dave Geaney, Kerry's Munster Council Representative, which suddenly brought a dramatic change in matters.
Dr. Geaney said that it was only tempting fate ten days before the All-Ireland final to be talking about a reception for the team when they hadn't even played Offaly yet.
At the outset, Ted Fitzgerald (John Mitchels) said he was expressing his own opinion and also that of the Tralee Urban Council, of which he was a member, that on the night after the All-Ireland the Kerry team should be brought to Tralee.
"After all, it's the capital of the county and there are five Tralee men on the team," he stated. "I am expressing the view of the elected people of Tralee."
The chairman, Frank King, said this had been a contentious matter for a long time and it was raising its head again this year and he wished something definite was done about it.
"The team travels by train and arrives in Killarney and there has been a reception put on there and then they come to Tralee on the Tuesday night," he said.
Liam Sayers said he was afraid they were going to get carried away with the Tralee/Killarney issue.
The most important thing was that there be a proper reception put on. Last year they had arranged the reception on Tuesday night in Tralee and nobody turned up.
There was no point in coming to Tralee on Tuesday night. He would suggest they alternate it, with Tralee this year and Killarney the next and the same apply whether the team won or lost.
The chairman said they should look at it in an objective way.
Ted Fitzgerald: If you go back over the years when the team came to Tralee on a Monday night they got a rousing reception.
Gerald McKenna, Kerry's Central Council Representative, said it was Tralee who originally complained. The issue arose originally because by the time the team left Killarney they were too late arriving in Tralee.
John Kelly (Spa) suggested they should use the market in Killarney, right next to the station, for the reception and then whisk them off to Tralee by bus.
The chairman said he remembered that was done in 1975 and when they landed in Tralee the streets were empty.
"If you are going to get off in Killarney on Monday night it's going to be extremely difficult to get anything organised in Tralee," he continued. "We must be fair to the players. They spend weeks and days and nights preparing for the All-Ireland final and surely they deserve some bit of comfort. We must be sure we don't do anything that puts pressure on them."